When we think of tea, most of us may picture a refreshing drink to cool us off in the summer. However, we aren’t talking about sweet tea here. We’re talking about the herbal variety in the form of green tea.

Green tea has a high concentration of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant. This is the basis of why green tea is so beneficial to human health, because our cells face a lot of damage due to environmental, genetic, and dietary factors, to name a few. Free radicals, or cell-damaging molecules, can result in many health problems, but green tea can help to fight off the free radicals that cause them.

The benefits of green tea have been studied extensively, and we will go over some of the research from these studies below. Once you read about the wide range of benefits green tea can provide, you may want to start brewing some right away!

Tea has been cultivated for centuries, beginning in India and China. Today, tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Hundreds of millions of people drink tea, and studies suggest that green tea (Camellia Sinensis) in particular, has many health benefits. Mount Sinai Medical Center

Green Tea Has a Delightful Flavor

This tea has a light, fresh, and pleasant taste. It is less bitter than black tea and often has a mild, grassy, or sweet flavor. The aroma is subtle and delicate, some describe it as floral, herbaceous, or grassy. The taste and aroma of green tea can vary depending on the type and quality of the leaves and the brewing method used.

Here are five popular green teas that millions around the world enjoy sipping:

  1. Japanese Sencha: Sencha is a classic type of drink that originated in Japan. It is made from the first flush of tea leaves steamed and then rolled into thin needles. Sencha has a mild, grassy flavor, a slight astringency, and a sweet aftertaste.
  2. Chinese Dragonwell: Dragonwell is a prized green tea from Hangzhou, China. It is made from pan-fried tea leaves, which gives it a distinctive nutty, buttery flavor and a rich, toasty aroma.
  3. Indian Darjeeling: Darjeeling green tea is grown in the Darjeeling district of India. It has a light, floral flavor and a bright, crisp aroma. Darjeeling green tea is known for its delicate taste and smooth finish.
  4. Vietnamese Longjing: Longjing, also known as Dragonwell, is a green tea grown in the Hangzhou region of China. It is famous for its delicate, nutty flavor and fragrant, floral aroma. Longjing is considered one of the best teas in the world.
  5. Korean Sejak: Sejak is a green tea grown in South Korea. It is made from the first flush of tea leaves and has a light, grassy flavor, and a fresh, floral aroma. Sejak is known for its clean, bright taste and its high levels of antioxidants.

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Nine Healthful Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Here’s what happens when you drink this delicious concoction daily:

1. Lowers blood sugar

Worldwide, about 400 million people have Type 2 diabetes. That number is likely rising due to stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise. However, this drink can help counteract poor lifestyle choices and lower blood sugar.

A Japanese study found that participants who drank the this type of tea had a 42% lower chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 participants revealed that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of developing diabetes.

2. Improves digestive health

Because these leaves are a potent anti-inflammatory, it helps to reduce symptoms of digestive issues related to inflammation, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

3. Can help prevent cancer

Cancer, in large part, is due to oxidative damage of cells, and green tea’s high concentration of antioxidants can help fight cancer. Here are some astounding statistics for you:

  • Breast cancer: An analysis of many studies found that women who drank this beverage had a 20-30% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer among women.
  • Prostate cancer: One study found that men who drank it had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men.
  • Colorectal cancer: An analysis of 29 studies revealed that green tea drinkers were 42% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.

This healthy drink might help other cancers such as lung, bladder, esophagus, skin, stomach, and pancreatic cancer.

4. Lowers cholesterol

The antioxidants in green tea may prevent cholesterol absorption in the intestines and protect LDL particles from oxidation, contributing to heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, tea considerably raises good cholesterol (HDL) in humans.

5. Lowers risk of heart disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Studies indicate that green tea’s abundant antioxidants may slow down or even prevent atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in the arteries. Studies show that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease and a ten percent lower chance of having a heart attack.

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6. Improves liver health

The liver also benefits from the consumption of green tea. Green tea drinkers can reverse the effects of alcohol on the liver and protect against liver tumors. Scientists attribute this to plant chemicals called catechins, which are plentiful in this tea.

7. Helps with weight loss

Some studies indicate that green tea boosts metabolism and helps burn fat. Studies showed that green tea and caffeine sped up weight loss in moderately obese and overweight demographics. Green tea contains a phytonutrient called EGCG which helps to increase a hormone that promotes feelings of fullness.

8. Increases cognitive function

According to a study at the University of Basel in Switzerland, drinking green tea “enhances memory performance, a finding that researchers suggest may have important implications for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including cognitive impairment.” Studies are ongoing regarding possible treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s using green tea.

9. Other benefits of green tea

Other studies suggest that this healthy drink can help with the following:

  • Prevention of dental cavities
  • Treatment of arthritis
  • treatment of genital warts
  • Treating various skin conditions
  • Prevention of cold and flu symptoms

NOTE: Before trying herbal or natural supplementation, inlcuding teas, please consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

How to Steep and Serve Green Tea

Traditional brewing methods vary depending on the type of tea and the culture consuming it. Here is a general guide for brewing while also paying honor to ancient Eastern cultural traditions:

  1. Water temperature: The water temperature for brewing green tea should be between 160-180°F. Using boiling water can result in a bitter taste, so it’s best to allow the water to cool slightly before brewing.
  2. Amount of tea: For a traditional cup of tea, use about one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of water. Adjust the number of tea leaves based on your taste preference.
  3. Steeping time: Steep the leaves for two to three minutes. Overly steeping the leaves can produce a bitter taste, so remove the tea leaves as soon as the desired flavor is achieved.
  4. Serving: Traditional tea is served plain, without added sweeteners or flavorings. It is often consumed in small cups and is typically served in a tea ceremony in many cultures, such as the Japanese tea ceremony.
  5. Utensils: Brew and serve this hot beverage using a teapot and tea cups. The teapot should have a heat-resistant material, such as glass or ceramic, and the tea cups small, allowing the beverage to be enjoyed in several sips.

By following these traditional brewing and serving methods, you can experience this delicious beverage’s full flavor and aroma, just as ancient cultures–and millions today–enjoy it.

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Final Thoughts on How Green Tea Supports a Healthier Life

Ancient healers from Eastern cultures have long understood the potent benefits of this delicious, healthful drink. So now the West has finally caught on. Honor those who healed for centuries by following time-honored rituals while reaping numerous healthful benefits.

We wish you all good health and happy green tea drinking!